There have been a number of twists and turns in the saga known as "What is Ed Reed really thinking?" this offseason.
The Baltimore Ravens' safety has made a number of contradictory comments as of late, ranging from saying in March that retirement was on his mind, as well as possibly playing for four of five more seasons. Then, a few days later, he called out the Ravens for "disrespecting" him—code for not getting a contract extension.
Last month, Reed told Adam Schein of Sirius/XM's NFL Radio that he's still not fully committed to returning to the field and the Ravens, again likely because he's awaiting that new contract. And now that mandatory minicamp has begun, Reed is nowhere to be found and refusing to comment on the situation.
For a Ravens team that has suffered quite a few losses on defense this offseason, due both to injury and free agency, the idea that Reed may be seriously questioning his commitment to football is a disconcerting development.
But ultimately, it seems like the next logical step in what has become a fairly transparent ploy on Reed's behalf to receive the contract extension he's been looking for.
Reed is playing a game of chicken with the Ravens, and it's not one he's likely to win anytime soon. With one more year on his contract and a number of players needing pay—running back Ray Rice and quarterback Joe Flacco among them—the team has likely moved the needs of its 33-year-old free safety to the back burner.
He's simply testing the team to see if he can get the extension he wants (though, should he get one, four or five years might be a bit much, considering his age and injury history). He likely won't, and this brief holdout should not run into the start of official training camp next month.
If Reed misses all of minicamp, he'll be out over $70,000—fines levied by the team, which takes the word "mandatory" seriously. Reed also sat out the Ravens' OTAs, this time with his family taking precedence. OTAs, it should be noted, are voluntary, and many vaunted veterans around the league choose to skip them.
Ultimately, this is Reed's latest attempt to get a contract extension from the Ravens and little more. And whether or not that is successful, he should be expected to show up at training camp. He's being a little dramatic, to be sure, but the story won't end badly for Reed, the Ravens or their fans.